Are you using Baking Soda the right way?

Before starting my wellness journey all I ever used baking soda for was for baking. Now, I literally buy baking soda by the pound. This ingredient has become increasingly popular as our culture embraces natural living and wellness. But have you ever stopped and wondered what this ingredient really is? Have you explored all its uses? Let me take you on a short ride and tell you the story and purpose behind this simple ingredient that has become incredibly popular in our homes.

ITS ORIGIN

I’ve used this product for 3 years and not really questioned where it comes from - well until now. I was pleased to find out that baking soda is a naturally occurring ingredient known as nahcolite. This ingredient is formed naturally in the Green River Formation and its known to house a 200 billion ton of nahcolite deposit, basically enough to supply the entire world with baking soda for many hundreds of years. These deposits are mined and then sold in its natural or briefly refined form. Baking soda can also be created through a series of chemical reactions known as the Solvay process but since this process uses many pollutants more and more producers are moving away from this method.

THE MIRACLE PRODUCT

Baking soda is known to be a miracle product because it can do so much. It is used in a wide variety of ways as you will learn below. Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate. It’s power comes from its pH (power of hydrogen) which is what makes something either an acid or a base (alkaline). Baking soda is an alkaline substance (pH 9) meaning that when mixed with acid it will alter the pH level. This is why baking soda can quickly soothe an upset stomach or even cover bad smells.

USES

You know it, pinterest and other websites are full of DIY recipes that include baking soda ranging in so many areas. This ingredient is so powerful and basic that it is used for almost everything, including:

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  • Cooking. You are probably most familiar with this use of baking soda. Baking soda is used to leaven many quick bakes such as pancakes, muffins & cakes. You will notice that in a matter of minutes your batter will begin to rise and become slightly fluffy as the acids and the bases (baking soda) react in the batter. This acid-base reaction is also accelerated with heat which is what makes your bake continue to rise in the oven.

  • Digestion. As previously mentioned, baking soda is known to help neutralize acid and improve pH balance in the body. It can be used internally to calm any digestive issues such as acid reflux or heartburn if related to the overconsumption of acidic foods. If you read the ingredients is Alka-Setzer you will noticed it contains baking soda. Adding some baking soda to a glass of water can neutralize the acid and get your body’s pH balanced quickly. Read all the why’s and how-to’s of alkaline water here.

  • Cleaning. Due to baking soda’s natural antibacterial and deodorizer properties it makes the perfect agent for cleaning your home. You can simply mix baking soda with water (4 TBSP of baking soda + 1 Quart of warm water) and use this solution to clean your sinks, kitchen counters & appliances. You can also add some baking soda to your soapy water when washing dishes for an extra boost of cleanliness. Baking soda can be used to deodorize any areas of your home and can also be used as a scrub wherever needed.

  • Beauty. Baking soda has many surprising beauty uses as well. You can use baking soda to make a scrub to soften the calluses in your feet & hands, in a bath soak, to make a deodorant and also to brighten your teeth.

 

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN BRANDS?

Though there have been rumors about some baking soda containing aluminum there are no reliable sources to support this. However, do note that baking powder (not baking soda) may contain aluminum. The two most popular brands of baking soda are Bob’s Red Mill and Arm & Hammer. They are different in how they are procured. Bob’s Red Mill mines it directly from the ground in their natural sodium bicarbonate state. There are no chemicals involved in the process. On the other hand, Arm & Hammer baking soda uses a chemical reaction process using carbon dioxide and heat. I personally use Bob Red Mills (through The Thrive Market)  for medicinal, cooking & beauty uses (which is not very much, maybe a teaspoon at a time). However, I am comfortable using Arm & Hammer for deodorizing, cleaning, & laundry uses.

Baking soda rightfully deserves to be known as the miracle ingredient for its many uses and benefits! If you haven’t tried using this ingredient beyond its culinary uses I hope this article motivated and inspired you to give it a try. You will be pleased!

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DISCLAIMER: Please note these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. I am not a doctor. I am simply sharing my experiences.